This week’s 5 Minute Friday is all about “change”…just writing, no thinking…
We walked through the lines of cheerleaders into the school, frenzied with activity. Balloons, tables with piles of paperwork, the smell of popcorn in the air, kids dashing up and down the hallways, and plenty of new faces.
Trudging around the corner, laden down with our bags of school supplies, we tracked down each kid’s classroom. Found their desk, met their teacher, grabbed more paperwork, signed up on one more volunteer form, checked out the lockers.
It was busy, loud, and everything was new. New classrooms, new lunch program, new murals, new children’s garden, new haircuts, new everything. Madi wanted to go out to the playground – maybe thinking it would be predictably the same – but there were changes out there too. The tire swing had been adjusted to be lower…and she noticed.
My Mom and Madi sat on a playground bench for a good 30 minutes while she sobbed about everything being “different”. Change can be hard on a seven-year-old, at least until she has a bowl of ice cream in front of her. I don’t blame her; I’m not so good with change either, and I told her so. It’s messy, unfamiliar, and can give you a queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach.
But as with all things, the new slowly becomes normal, the noise turns into a dull roar, and you settle in for the long haul. Hang in there, kiddo. You are in for quite the year.
This week’s 5 Minute Friday is all about “stretch”…just writing, no thinking…
Last winter, I found myself in a hot yoga studio, moving and stretching and getting stronger with each sweaty session, until my shingles stopped me in my tracks. Then summer hit, and the open road called my name, keeping me away from the hot yoga studio even longer. But last Saturday, I dragged myself out of bed and headed to Eastown with my bright yellow yoga mat and bottle of Fiji water.
I was nervous. It had been a while, and I knew by the aches and pains that I felt every morning when I creaked my way out of bed that it was going to be a tough hour. We started with Happy Baby, and I could barely grab my toes as I tried to work my knees toward my shoulders. Then as we moved into Downward Facing Dog, I tried to shift my weight to my heels fruitlessly. The long days of packing and moving, of not moving my body in anything that resembled a yoga pose, had caused my muscles to freeze, retreat, and tighten.
But the great part about yoga is that as the time passes, your body starts to wake up – to breathe – to lengthen and grow – to feel invigorated. Our last Downward Facing Dog felt so much more relaxed and free than the first one. When we reached the end of our practice, after the heavenly moments of Shavasana, or laying flat on your back in the perfect relaxing space, I stood up and felt…incredible. One good stretch is sometimes all you need.
At least until the next morning, when I couldn’t move my arms. But that’s another story…
This week’s 5 Minute Friday is all about “here”…just writing, no thinking…
I perch on my stool at the kitchen island, gazing out the window and listening to the girls play in the basement. Trucks rumble outside, construction traffic that has become my new white noise, and shiny, new things surround me inside, things that seem like they belong in someone else’s house. I carefully peek out the window at our future neighbors as they walk their empty lots, visit their homes-in-progress, and I know how they are feeling. Anxious, excited, anticipating. We were them, what seems like just moments ago, and now we are here…ready to breathe life, memories, and experiences into every meal around the dining room table, every game we sit down to play, and every conversation we have in the driveway. Here is where we are staking our claim, wiggling our roots down into the sandy dirt, and building the next phase of our life.
This week’s 5 Minute Friday is all about “beyond”…just writing, no thinking…
The day drags behind me like a limp shadow. My muscles ache with every step I take up the stairs. Boxes strewn around me, filled with cheese graters, pancake griddles and steak knives, things that I packed months ago, and haven’t needed since.
My ears ring with the angry words that I spewed out after a mischievous little boy scratched his fingernails into the plush of our brand new couch. The bumper of the car holds a brand new dent, born out of my haste and distracted mind.
In a few short days, we will be beyond our move; we will be unpacked, unfurled, and undone. Why can’t I see past the end of my nose to what will be, instead of what is now? Fatigue swallows me, and I close my eyes. Beyond today. Beyond next week.
This week’s 5 Minute Friday is all about “enough”…just writing, no thinking…
I sit on the couch, every muscle in my body aching from moving countless boxes and bins into rooms and hallways, storage closets and playrooms. Projects pop out of every corner as I walk through the empty rooms – shelves there, shower bar here, collage there – and I wish that my body could move twice as fast.
I sit at the table, scribbling my to-do list on slips of paper, trying to capture the responsibilities of a busy family. Tasks that never seem to get done, overdue thank you notes, and a pile of magazines to flip through gets simply dumped in the trash. No time, unless I stay up all night.
I look at my kids and feel defeated. We don’t spend enough time working on writing Parker’s numbers the right way, we are behind on Madi’s piano lessons, and Fiona follows me around with a stack of stories to be read. We dash to activities and play dates, shopping and gas stations, trying to visit family and friends, and fall into bed exhausted and overtired.
Enough? Today it doesn’t feel like it.
This week’s 5 Minute Friday is all about “story”…just writing, no thinking…
The ceiling fan whipped around lazily, rustling the hot evening air in the kitchen. We sat around the kitchen table, my grandpa, my dad, and I, sipping glasses of water, munching on cookies, and telling stories.
My grandpa’s deep baritone voice, punctuated by hearty chuckles, told the story of when he fell off a stepladder over the winter, injuring his shoulder. His recollection of the one competent member of the EMS crew, the cranky policeman, and the excruciating pain swirled into the night. My dad’s tenor voice chimed in, adding his tales of hospitals and unfortunate ambulance visits to the house when my mom was having panic attacks, and their voices swelled and rose together, melding into a duet, until I added my alto to the story-turned-song, and our story wove together and became a new memory.
Three generations sitting around a table…telling stories into the night.
After they left and went to bed, I sat at the table for a few moments, and I could almost hear my grandpa’s chuckle as I looked around the kitchen. How many stories have been told in this room lined with pictures and plates and history and time? Far too many to count…